World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Oxfam Says Climate Change Hits Poor Hardest


By Tendai Maphosa
London

Oxfam Says Climate Change Hits Poor Hardest

A new report by the international humanitarian agency Oxfam says weather-related disasters have quadrupled during the past two decades. It calls for governments to take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists blame for the crisis.

The Oxfam report, called Climate Alarm, says natural disasters have risen from 120 annually in the 1980s to as many as 500 today.

The report notes that while crises such as the African famines of the early 1980s, the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991 and the Asian tsunami caused an enormous loss of life, the new worrying trend is the increase in small to medium-sized disasters.

The report's author, John Magrath, says most of these disasters now occur at unusual times.

"We think that 2007 has been a particularly bad year and also particularly strange year because of the unprecedented nature of many of these disasters. We are talking about some very unusual floods in West Africa, very unusual floods in East Africa, extraordinary floods in Mexico and parts of Central America, and heat waves in Greece, eastern Europe," said Magrath.

One short disaster after another, even if relatively small, the report warns, can push poor people and communities into a downward spiral from which it is very difficult to recover. It says the tendency of rich countries is to prioritize their aid spending on more high-profile emergencies. They also focus on countries that are seen as being in line with their foreign policy priorities, the report says.

Magrath says the people who are least responsible for climate change are the ones most adversely affected by it.

"There is a basic global injustice in this. It seems to us that the rich nations of this earth have the historical responsibility to act first and fastest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to show an example and to lead the way," he added. "They also have the capability to do it and to begin to switch away from fossil fuels, to renewable energy, there is a huge potential for that, a huge market for that, it is about time some leadership was shown."

Magrath expressed hope that the United Nations Climate Change conference set for Bali in December will present developed countries with an opportunity to seriously address climate change issues.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news